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Unread 09-05-2013, 11:45 PM   #1
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Question Reliability vs Health/mental health

Just looking for generalized thoughts about this...

I have been in several situations in the past years since learning to *manage* my mental health problems in which I must choose either mental health, or being reliable at job/school. Here's the thing - some days you are just SICK... if you had a cold, or flu, you'd take the day off. I don't see why not take a mental health day off. But I've also noticed people get really upset if you miss out on things , even if you are legitimately sick! (physical or mental)

Has anyone run across this type of problem and have any thoughts or advice? Maybe I'm just plain un-reliable due to mental problems... but if so how do I DEAL with that fact at a job?

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Unread 09-06-2013, 09:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Reliability vs Health/mental health

i knew a guy one time who would go down with severe depression for a month or more a couple of times a year, in spite of meds. he had a good job. i asked his boss (who served on a committee with me) why they kept him employed?

i will never forget her answer: "when he is at work, he's invaluable."

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Unread 09-06-2013, 10:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Reliability vs Health/mental health

I take MH days from time to time, when I need to decompress. I just don't advertise the purpose. If you have generic PTO as many do, I see no problem if you are entitled to the time off. People miss for all kinds of reasons, sick kids etc, why shouldn't we?
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Unread 09-06-2013, 10:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Reliability vs Health/mental health

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I think it's important to remember that other people will always have their opinions and will voice them whether they are supportive or not. We all have to take time for ourselves for one thing or another, whether it be mental or physical. How someone else looks at us taking time off and how they react to it, is their issue, not ours. I've learned over the years that I cannot be responsible for other's thoughts/feelings/behavior, I can only be responsible for mine. What I normally will do is apologize for any inconvenience they've experienced due to my absence and say, "well I'm here now, what needs to be done?".

Sometimes we do have to push ourselves to do things that we don't want to do or have trouble dealing with at that moment. But, sometimes we do need to take time to care for ourselves. Heck, if we don't do it for ourselves, no one else can, right?

I also understand that we have that internal struggle with being a responsible member of our work/school team and taking care of ourselves when we need to. Sometimes we feel guilty about taking care of ourselves. I feel we owe it to ourselves to do our best self care. For me, having that belief, helps to lessen the feeling of guilt.

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Unread 09-06-2013, 12:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Reliability vs Health/mental health

Ever since my husband pointed out the drive in snow/don't go controversy and how the chances of an accident/injury/expense were so much higher than one's daily pay to go to work, I quit thinking so much about what other people were/were not doing and thought of my choices.

It comes down to one's own choices -- if showing up is important to work where they need someone there all the time (like being a school teacher) then one has to decide if that is the kind of work one can do or not and if one decides one can do the work easily enough with the number of absences one needs then one has to decide if they want to work in a place that is that critical or if one might want to offer to work part-time or in a way that has more built in time off, etc.

It is not a crime to be ill but if one is that ill, then often one cannot do the things one might like and where that line is has to be a personal decision.
"The master of the garden is the one who waters it, trims the branches, plants the seeds, and pulls the weeds. If you merely stroll through the garden, you are but an acolyte." ~Vera Nazarian
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